Scalia agrees with Kagan that Second Amendment rights are "not unlimited"

››› ››› ADAM SHAH

Matt Drudge highlighted a post by the website KaganWatch.com that stated that Elena Kagan wrote "the Second Amendment ... enjoys 'strong, but not unlimited protection' " -- apparently to suggest that Kagan was hostile to gun rights. In fact, in a decision written by Justice Antonin Scalia striking down Washington D.C.'s handgun ban, the Supreme Court said that gun rights "are not unlimited."

From a post on KaganWatch.com, headlined "Kagan on Second Amendment: Like Freedom of Speech Enjoys 'Strong But Not Unlimited Protection,' " that Matt Drudge has highlighted:

While in the Clinton White House, Kagan took on gun (and tobacco) industries.

During her confirmation as solicitor general, Kagan said the Second Amendment, like freedom of speech, enjoys "strong but not unlimited protection."

In a questioner from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) about gun rights during her confirmation to be Solicitor General, Kagan had this to say:

"Once again, there is no question, after Heller, that the Second Amendment guarantees individuals the right to keep and bear arms and that this right, like others in the Constitution, provides strong although not unlimited protection against governmental regulation."

Supreme Court's conservative majority has itself said Second Amendment rights "are not unlimited"

The Supreme Court case striking down the DC handgun ban said that "the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited." The majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, which was written by Scalia and joined by the Supreme Court's most conservative members, stated:

Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.

[...]

Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

Supreme Court has upheld gun restrictions. In his majority opinion, Scalia listed gun restrictions that the courts have long upheld as constitutional, including "prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons," prohibitions on "the carrying of 'dangerous and unusual weapons' " such as an M-16 rifle, and "longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."

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